WA green lights controversial gas hub site

The WA Government has granted final state environmental approval to the Browse liquefied natural gas project in the Kimberley.

There have been numerous protests against the proposed $30 billion development at James Price Point, north of Broome.

The state Environment Minister, Bill Marmion, says extra measures have been put in place to protect migrating whales as well as nearby dinosaur footprints.

"I'm happy that the environmental conditions are very strict," he said.

"In the 900 meters to the north of the site along the coast, no development can take place so they're preserved; where there are footprints will be quarantined off.

"Also the traditional owners will have some role in actually looking after those." Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says the restrictions do not go far enough to protect the footprints.

"They're finding more and more, the more research they do," she said.

"It's nonsense to imply that area can be protected." Mr Marmion also defended the approvals process, saying all 244 appeals lodged against the Environmental Protection Authority's assessment were thoroughly investigated.

Woodside Petroleum, the key proponent in the LNG joint venture, says it welcomes the decision.

It says its plans to build and operate an LNG processing facility within the precinct are progressing.

The gas hub still needs environmental and heritage approvals from the Federal Government, as well as a final investment decision.

The Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke says he cannot put a timeframe on the final decision.

He says is waiting for a strategic assessment from the state.

"There is still information that has to come to me from the WA Government before I'm able to make a decision at all," he said.

"It means I can't give you a timeline on when they expect to have the information to me which would allow me to then make a decision." Opposition The Broome Community No-Gas campaign group says they will lobby at a federal level for the proposal to be rejected.

Spokeswoman Nik Wevers says the message will be targeted at Mr Burke.

"I think we'll probably up the ante," she said.

"We've said for some time that we need to focus on Tony Burke and we've certainly done that.

"We have enormous support around Australia." Ms Wevers says they are campaigning for future generations.

"If we allow this damage to the Kimberley there's not going to be much left in 25 to 30 years for our children who come after us and we have a responsibility to look after what we've got," she said.

The Wilderness Society's Peter Robertson says the organisation will continue to lobby the Federal Government on the issue.

"This whole process by this State Government has been a political process, not an environmental or scientific process," he said.

"So, it was completely expected that the Minister would ultimately give approval to this gas hub because it is the Premier's pet project and the Minister was never going to block it." Traditional owners have welcomed the latest step in the hub's development.

Warren Greatorex, who heads a group representing traditional owners, says it has been a long and arduous process.

He says he would like to see the gas hub become a reality.

"I certainly acknowledge their [environmentalists] concerns," he said.

"At the end of the day, we are also concerned about the environment, we're certainly not just handing over our land for the contractors to do what they like." Compulsory acquisition In a related development, lawyers acting for a traditional landowner of James Price Point have confirmed they have launched Supreme Court legal action against the process to compulsorily acquire land for the Browse LNG project.

The notice of intention to take the land was issued earlier this year by the WA Government.

Goolarabooloo's Phillip Roe will allege the WA government abused the acquisition process.

Summons have been lodged against the State of WA, the WA Lands Minister, the Kimberley Land Council, the WA Land Corporation and the Broome Port Authority.

A court date has yet to be established for legal proceedings.

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